Flu (influenza) begins like a cold but then chills, fevers, headaches, aches, exhaustion and loss of appetite can develop. It is a miserable experience and complete rest and plenty of fluids are the answer. If your child has flu don't worry if he or she is not interested in food, it is the body's way of using energy to heal itself rather than to digest food. Offer only light snacks and nourishing fluids (broth-style soups) if food is desired. Flu is a viral infection and the structure changes every few years so it is impossible for anyone to develop a long-lasting immunity and flu vaccinations can never be completely successful for this reason. It is also extremely contagious.
Where colds last from a week to ten days, flu lasts longer, for up to twelve days or more which can be followed by yet another week of exhaustion and coughing.
Remember antibiotics are not effective against viral infections like flu.
DIETARY ADVICE: to prevent dehydration and to flush out the body drink plenty of fluids, filtered or bottled water, fresh diluted fruit juices, herbal teas, fresh vegetable juices, chicken or turkey soup (with a little cayenne pepper to help reduce mucous production).
IMMUNE SYSTEM: there is much that you can do to boost the immune system naturally during times of illness. Black elderberry for example has been shown in vitro to inhibit several strains of flu virus and contains high levels of antioxidants known to boost the immune system -Immune System and Immune System for Babies & Children
Herbal tea - super concentrated 'Cats Claw Tea' with orange peel, cinnamon, cardamom and ginger - drink three times a day. Echinacea, elderberry, ginger or pau d'arco tea combined with peppermint, are also good for boosting the immune system - see Herbal Tea.
Homeopathy - there are many remedies for flu but these are perhaps the most common; Gelsemium 30c is the typical flu remedy and is for flu that develops slowly with aching muscles, extreme chilliness, an inability to get warm, with exhaustion, sweating and shivery chills in the back. You may feel better for sweating and worse for walking, with a lack of thirst and an inability to move due to heaviness and weariness; use Bryonia 30c for flu that develops slowly, with extreme thirst, headaches and the need to keep still due to pain. You may feel worse for the slightest movement, even moving the eyes can make you feel angry and irritable; and use Rhus Tox 30c for aching in the bones, joints and legs, feeling sore and bruised, with a fever, exhaustion, restlessness and with sneezing. Take one dose every half an hour or an hour depending on the severity, and then three or four doses a day as required. If your symptoms match two different remedies alternate them - see Homeopathy for all these remedies. See the Homeopathic Kits for sets containing a range of different remedies.
NB. It is important to touch the pills as little as possible, ideally tipping them into the lid and then directly into the mouth, and also to avoid eating and drinking at the same time as taking the remedy.
The stronger the symptoms the stronger the potency required, so if you are unsure, if any of these remedies are not working, or you feel you need a higher potency contact a professional homeopath.
RELEVANT LINKS:Immune System
Please contact us for specific advice